This comes on the heels of the announcement that Lakers forward Trevor Ariza would miss two months due to a right ankle injury.
Injuries are already starting to creep in for the Los Angeles Lakers, and we’re just in the preseason. After missing LA’s exhibition game against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker will miss time due to a torn ligament in his right thumb which will require surgery, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania Monday.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 11, 2021
This comes on the heels of the announcement that Lakers forward Trevor Ariza would miss two months due to a right ankle injury, in addition to Malik Monk expected to miss about a week with a groin injury. Suddenly the Lakers’ depth on the wing is becoming incredibly thin.
It’s unclear how long Horton-Tucker will be sidelined, but his absence as a key role player on both ends of the floor will surely be felt in the Lakers’ rotation. In what was previously expected to be a crowded backcourt with some guys fighting to get minutes, suddenly is a little more open now with injuries to both Horton-Tucker and Monk. Players like Kendrick Nunn, Kent Bazemore and Wayne Ellington will be expected to fill some of those minutes.
If Horton-Tucker and Monk’s injuries linger longer than expected, the Lakers could look to bring someone in as a stopgap until players get healthy. Perhaps that could lead to James Ennis joining the team. After all, the 31-year-old forward has been openly lobbying for a spot on the roster. He’s a capable defender, and last season shot 43 percent from deep with the Orlando Magic.
It could be an easy solution for the time being, but whether the Lakers decide to sign someone or deal with the roster issues internally, it sounds like LA will enter the season hobbled, which will only put more responsibility on LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Trevor Ariza had an arthroscopic debridement procedure performed on his right ankle on Wednesday, the Lakers announced. The veteran forward will be re-evaluated in eight weeks. Ariza has not played for the Lakers this preseason, and with the regular season quickly approaching, they will have to adjust their forward rotation to factor in his absence.
That will be no easy task. The Lakers are an extremely guard-heavy team. Eight of the 14 players currently on the roster are guards, and two more are centers. That leaves them with only four players most would classify as forwards: Ariza, who is out, Anthony Davis, whom many expect to play center this season to give the Lakers extra spacing alongside Russell Westbrook, and the combination of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.